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NHL Washington Capitals

5 Washington Capitals With The Most To Prove

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5 Washington Captials with the Most to Prove in 2013-14 NHL Season

Washington Capitals Team
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals have been on a roll of late, reaching the postseason for the last six years. They’ve relied heavily on their top talent, including superstar Alex Ovechkin, to secure a playoff berth while plying their trade in the thankfully disbanded Southeast Division.

The Capitals have begun life in the Metropolitan Division with a shootout win and two close losses. Ovechkin is fiery so far this term, leading the team already in points and securing the NHL's First Star of the Week. Nicklas Backstrom is employing his usual role as the best supporting actor on the team with three assists, and I see him topping the league’s assist chart by the end of the season.

Mike Green is the best defenseman in the NHL to have never won a James Norris Memorial Trophy. Maybe this will be his year, as long as he stays healthy. He has all-around ability and holds the record for consecutive games with at least one goal as a defenseman.

Superstars aside, there are a few players in the franchise who are hoping to either rekindle past heights, get to the next level, or just make the cut.

Tom Wilson made the opening roster out of training camp. The 19-year-old Wilson has shown skillfulness so far in his three games, he’s shown a maturity level above his age, and (most importantly) he’s seemingly replaced Matt Hendricks as the guy who will drop the gloves if the need arises. Seeing a teenager down a 30-something on a regular basis is going to make for some huge entertainment during this campaign.

Let’s take a look at Wilson and four other Caps who have something to prove during the 2013-14 NHL season.

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5. Tom Wilson

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Wilson has proved that he can drop the gloves. The 19-year-old must now prove that he can score goals and be a solid all-round player or fans may question the team's decision to promote a junior to the NHL.

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4. Karl Alzner

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Karl Alzner lives in the shadow of Mike Green but does it well. He'll be hoping to improve on his minus-6 rating last season.

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3. Jason Chimera

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Jason Chimera had a spectacular season--two season ago--when he recorded a career-high points tally of 39. He'll be looking to regain that kind of form during this season.

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2. Mikhail Grabovski

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When last season ended, every Capitals fan had one thing on their minds. Will the team retain second-line center Mike Ribeiro? They didn't. Mikhail Grabovski has a lot to prove this year as he steps into Ribeiro's slot.

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1. Braden Holtby

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Braden Holtby has the skill set to become one of the league's best goaltenders. He needs to prove he is worthy of the No. 1 billing that head coach Adam Oates has bestowed upon him. This has to be the season where Holtby pulls out all the stops and becomes a star.